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Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Giving Border Patrol Agents Raises

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill last week that could increase salaries and benefits for border patrol officers.

Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for 5,000 more border agents. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agency has been unable to meet that goal, and has been loosing more employees then they've gained for years. 

However a new bill, written by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, seeks to expand the ability for the federal agency to recruit and retain employees. 

This would be especially impactful for remote outposts, assignments the agency calls "undesirable and hard-to-fill." 

If signed into law, the bill would also changes procedures for polygraph tests. Only 26 percent of recruits cleared a polygraph last year, and the bill would keep the agency from sharing those results with any other federal agencies. The thought is that this will not deter recruits who plan to apply to other law enforcement jobs in the future.

The bill is now headed to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Claire Caulfield was a reporter and Morning Edition producer at KJZZ from 2015 to 2019.